Tags: Department of Sanitation

Celebrating ten years since landfill closure

Yesterday, March 22nd, 2011, marked the ten year anniversary of the last barge of garbage delivered to the Fresh Kills Landfill.  To mark the occasion and to celebrate ten years of reclamation and preparation for park development, the NYC Department of Sanitation and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation jointly hosted a small celebration at the Freshkills Park site.

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Exhibit showcases NYC Sanitation workers

The City Room Blog features writer Lisa Dowda and photographer Liz Lignon, the team behind “Chasing Sanitation.”   A new exhibit of their photos and narratives, called, “This is New York’s Strongest” opened Saturday at 411 Lafayette Street in Noho. 

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Winter/Spring Fresh Perspectives newsletter is out

The Winter/Spring issue of the Freshkills Park newsletter, Fresh Perspectives, is up on the official Parks homepage for Freshkills Park.  In this issue are a walk-through of the design for the first phase of South Park, a primer on composting toilets and how they work, and a history and guide to wetlands at the Freshkills Park site.

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Robin Nagle on the City’s relationship to Sanitation

Thanks to the huge crowd that came out to Robin Nagle’s talk in our lecture series two weeks back.  Standing in front of a fascinating slideshow featuring many of the men and women who keep New York City clean (or–more than that–keep New York City alive, as artist Mierle Ukeles famously phrased it), Robin discussed her academic approach to Sanitation, the stigma we attach to the work San Men and Women do and some hypotheses as to how those stigmas develop and why they stick. 

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Seeking a Freshkills Park Oral History intern

We meet people all the time who have stories about Fresh Kills.  Folks who live nearby, who used to live where the landfill now is, who worked on-site, who were part of the 9/11 recovery effort, who are part of the team working on landfill closure right now. 

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Next Freshkills Park Talk: Wednesday, Dec. 8th

The Freshkills Park Talks lecture series continues on Wednesday, December 8th, with a talk by Dr. Robin Nagle.  Titled “The Twist-Tie that Binds: Garbage, New York City and You,” the lecture will recount how the City’s garbage connects New Yorkers to one another as well as to history, politics, infrastructure, and technology.

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Staten Island Transfer Station profiled

The Staten Island Advance profiles the Staten Island Transfer Station (SITS), where 750 tons of the island’s garbage is trucked every day, compacted, containerized and sent out on a seven day journey by rail to Lee County Landfill in Bishopville, South Carolina.

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Chasing Sanitation

Chasing Sanitation: Falling in Love with New York’s Strongest is a series of portraits and interviews with New York City Sanitation workers produced by writer Lisa Dowda and photographer Liz Lignon over the past two years.

Sanitation Workers – they’re not saints.

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At Sneak Peak: Mierle Ukeles’ ‘Social Mirror’

We’re thrilled to be able to exhibit Mierle Laderman Ukeles‘ work The Social Mirror at Sneak Peak this Sunday!  The piece is a 12-ton, 28-foot long 1979 Department of Sanitation collection truck outfitted in mirror glass.  It made its debut in the 1983 New York City Art Parade and was last publicly exhibited at the 2007 Armory Show.

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Preview Freshkills Park, Sunday, October 3rd

We’ve been hard at work putting together the first open, public event EVER at the Freshkills Park site, which will take place Sunday, October 3rd!  ‘Sneak Peak at Freshkills Park‘ will not only be a chance to see the site’s hills and wetlands in all their autumn glory, it will also be a hybrid kite festival/street fair/series of special site tours! 

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Sanitation Anthropologist interviewed in The Believer

NYC Department of Sanitation Anthropologist-in-Residence Robin Nagle is featured on the cover of the current issue of The Believer (along with Wallace Shawn and “Weird Al” Yankovic!).  The issue’s in-depth interview with Dr. Nagle is terrific, covering the ‘cognitive problem’ of garbage, the outlook and perception of Sanitation workers and the role of the anthropologist or archeologist in the study of waste and waste management.

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Exhibit on art that engages society

The summer group exhibition at Brooklyn artspace Smack Mellon is called “Condensations of the Social.”  It features artistic projects that engage social practice:

artistic projects that refer to the strands of the social that contribute to the formation of culture: pedagogy, ritual/performance, political and ideological engagement, work, and ecology and sustainability as they relate to place.

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Ask the Sanitation Anthropologist

NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Anthropologist-in-Residence Robin Nagle will be responding to readers’ questions about her work studying the DSNY and the City’s garbage systems this week on the New York Times’ City Room Blog.  Dr. Nagle is a long-time friend and partner of the Freshkills Park project.

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Public hearing on Solid Waste Management Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently released a draft of its plan for a new direction in waste management, “Beyond Waste: A Sustainable Materials Management Strategy for New York.”  The plan aims to shift the state’s waste management focus from the end of the waste chain closer to the beginning, more emphatically supporting waste reduction, reuse and recycling. 

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New Fresh Perspectives newsletter is out

The Spring/Summer issue of the Freshkills Park newsletter, Fresh Perspectives, is up on the official Parks homepage for Freshkills Park.  In this issue are a review of the past year’s expanded tour programs at the Freshkills Park site and a profile of the Department of Sanitation’s compost facility, located just beside the former landfill, in addition to the cover story, which offers a history of the Fresh Kills area before landfilling began in 1948 and an annotated map of historic activities onsite.

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Time for a new NYC waste management strategy?

Piggybacking on last week’s front-page story on comparative waste management strategies in Denmark and the US, the New York Times runs an op-ed by former Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Norman Steisel and former DSNY director of policy planning Benjamin Miller on the need for a new set of policy actions and built facilities to manage New York City’s waste more sustainably, locally and cheaply.

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Exhibit on Roosevelt Island garbage system opens

Garbage on Roosevelt Island—the 147-acre strip of land lying in the East River between Manhattan and Queens—is disposed of through a remarkable system of underground pneumatic tubes that was constructed in 1975.  The Island’s 14,000 residents empty their trash into a series of garbage chutes which are emptied into the pneumatic pipes several times daily, carrying it at 30 miles per hour to a transfer station at the end of the island.

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Updates to NYC recycling law expected tomorrow

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and Mayor Bloomberg is expected to sign new legislation into action that will substantially update New York City’s recycling program for the first time since 1989.  The biggest addition to the program will be the Department of Sanitation‘s (DSNY) eventual capacity to recycle all rigid plastic containers, including those used to hold laundry detergent, motor oil and yogurt. 

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Time gone by

Monday, March 22nd marked the nine year anniversary of the closure of Fresh Kills Landfill.  To reflect on that milestone, we pulled this timeline (PDF, 11MB) of the landfill’s operation from our archives.  It was put together for the catalogue of the exhibit called “Fresh Kills: Artists Respond to the Closure of the Staten Island Landfill,” mounted at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center‘s Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in 2001.

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Fresh Kills, the sanitary landfill

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VObNlRHgQZ8&w=507&h=370]

An informative early-1980s video primer on the development of the contemporary sanitary landfill, with Fresh Kills as the prime example.  Some interesting footage of the landfill in operation.

Important note regarding the narrator’s concerns about the quality of drinking water in the vicinity of landfills: Staten Island’s water supply, like that of the rest of New York City, comes from upstate New York and not from the immediate environment. 

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